Mick Foley - Cactus Jack - Mankind
- Dude Love
wresetling legend, author, speaker and humanitarian
Francis "Mick" Foley, Sr. (born June
7, 1965) is an American author and professional
wrestler. He is currently signed to World Wrestling
Entertainment (WWE), appearing primarily on its
his wrestling career, Foley has wrestled for many
different promotions, both under his real name
and under various personas (most notably Cactus
Jack, Mankind, and Dude Love). He is the first
ever WWF Hardcore Champion and became a three-time
WWF Champion as Mankind. He is also one of the
most successful tag team wrestlers in history,
being an eight-time WWF Tag Team Champion, a two-time
ECW World Tag Team Champion, a one-time WCW World
Tag Team Champion and a one-time WCWA Tag Team
Champion. He is also a one-time WCWA Light Heavyweight
is a multiple-time New York Times bestselling
author. He was also a subject of the documentary
Beyond the Mat, which followed him at the peak
of his career.
was born in Bloomington, Indiana. Shortly after
he was born, Foley's family moved to Setauket-East
Setauket, New York, where Foley attended Ward
Melville High School, played lacrosse, and wrestled.
Mick Foley was also a high school classmate of
Kevin James of King of Queens, and the two were
on the wrestling team together. While a student
at State University of New York at Cortland, he
hitchhiked to Madison Square Garden to see his
favorite wrestler, Jimmy "Superfly"
Snuka, in a steel cage match against Don Muraco.
Foley has said that Snuka's flying body splash
from the top of the cage inspired him to pursue
a career in pro wrestling. Foley is visible on
the WWE video of the event.
formally trained at Dominic DeNucci's wrestling
school in Freedom, Pennsylvania, driving several
hours weekly from his college campus in Cortland,
New York, and debuted in June 1986. In addition
to appearing on DeNucci's cards, Foley and several
other students also took part in some squash matches
for WWF TV tapings, wrestling under the name "Jack
Foley", including a match where Foley and
Les Thornton faced the British Bulldogs, during
which The Dynamite Kid clotheslined Foley with
such force that he was unable to eat solid food
for several days.
several years of wrestling in the independent
circuit, Foley began receiving offers from various
regional promotions, including the UWF. He joined
Memphis-based CWA as Cactus Jack, where he teamed
with Gary Young as part of the Stud Stable. Cactus
and Young briefly held the CWA tag titles in late
1988. On November 20, Foley left CWA for Texas-based
World Class Championship Wrestling.
World Class Championship Wrestling (WCCW) Cactus
Jack, billed as Cactus Jack Manson, was a major
part of Skandor Akbar's stable.Foley also won
several titles, including the company's light
heavyweight and tag team titles before leaving
the company, losing his last match to Eric Embry
in nine seconds. He then briefly competed in Alabama's
Continental Wrestling Federation before completing
a brief stint with World Championship Wrestling,
including a match against Mil Mascaras at Clash
of the Champions X: Texas Shootout. It was during
this period that Foley was involved in a car accident
that resulted in the loss of his two front teeth,
adding to the distinctive look for which he is
famous. Following the short stint with WCW, Foley
then signed with Herb Abrams's Universal Wrestling
Federation. In UWF, Foley teamed with Bob Orton
to feud with Don Muraco, Sunny Beach, and Brian
Blair. Foley amassed a cult following because
of his growing repertoire of high-risk moves.
During a match in July 1991, Foley debuted the
Double-arm DDT, which he used as a finisher for
years to follow.
soon left UWF for Tri-State Wrestling, whose style
of high impact and violent wrestling style fit
Foley well. On one night, known as Tri-State's
Summer Sizzler 1991, Cactus Jack and Eddie Gilbert
had three matches in one night: Cactus won a Falls
Count Anywhere match, lost a Stretcher match,
and then fought to a double disqualification in
a Steel Cage match.These matches caught the attention
of World Championship Wrestling promoters, and
after a brief stint working in the Global Wrestling
Federation, he joined WCW.
Championship Wrestling (1991-1994)
September 5, 1991, Cactus Jack debuted as a heel
and attacked Sting. After feuds with Van Hammer
and Abdullah the Butcher, Cactus Jack faced Sting,
then WCW champion, in a non-title Falls Count
Anywhere match at Beach Blast 1992, which Sting
won. For a long time, Foley considered this the
best match he ever worked.
Jack first wrestled Vader on April 6, 1993. Foley
and Leon White wanted an intense match, so they
agreed that Vader would hit Cactus with a series
of heavy blows to the face. WCW edited the match
heavily because it was against their policies
to show the heavy bleeding that resulted. Foley
suffered a broken nose, a dislocated jaw and needed
twenty-seven stitches, but won the match via countout.
Because the title did not change hands on a countout,
WCW booked a rematch. Foley, however, wanted some
time off to be with his newborn daughter and get
surgery to repair a knee injury. As a result,
in the rematch with Vader on April 23, the two
executed a dangerous spot to sell a storyline
injury. Vader removed the protective mats at ringside
and power-bombed Cactus onto the exposed concrete
floor, causing a legitimate concussion and causing
Foley to temporarily lose sensation in his left
foot and hand. While Foley was away, WCW ran an
angle where Cactus Jack's absence was explained
with a farcical comedy storyline in which he went
crazy, was institutionalized, escaped, and developed
amnesia. Foley had wanted the injury storyline
to be very serious and generate genuine sympathy
for him before his return. The comedy vignettes
that WCW produced instead were so bad that Foley
jokes in Have a Nice Day that they were the brainchild
of WCW executives who regarded a surefire moneymaking
feud as a problem that needed to be solved.
returned in the fall of 1993 to save the British
Bulldog from an attack by Vader. He then proceeded
to feud with Vader and other wrestlers managed
by Harley Race, Jack's former manager. In one
of WCW's most brutal matches of all time, Cactus
faced Vader in a Texas Death match at Halloween
Havoc. Race won the match for Vader by using a
cattle prod on Cactus, knocking him out for over
ten seconds. The level of violence involved in
this feud caused WCW to refuse to ever again book
Cactus Jack against Vader on a pay-per-view. On
March 16, 1994, during a WCW European tour, Foley
and Vader had one of the most infamous matches
in wrestling history in Munich, Germany. Foley
began a hangman, a spot where a wrestler's head
is tangled between the top two ring ropes, which
is usually painful but safe.Unbeknownst to Foley,
however, 2 Cold Scorpio had earlier complained
that the ropes were too loose, resulting in the
ring staff tightening the ropes to the maximum.
As Foley struggled to pull himself out, he tore
off two-thirds of his ear and underwent surgery
later that day to reattach the cartilage from
the ear to his head, so that a total reconstruction
would be possible in the future. Later that year,
Cactus Jack and Kevin Sullivan were scheduled
to win the tag team titles at Slamboree 1994.
Foley had to choose between reattaching his ear
or wrestling in the pay-per-view and winning the
titles. Foley chose to wrestle and won his only
championship in WCW. Foley has said several times
that he was frustrated by WCW's reluctance to
work a storyline around losing his ear.
April 23, in a match with Vader, Foley again took
a powerbomb onto the concrete. Expecting a brilliant
remark from the commentators about the fact that
it was the same move that disabled him exactly
one year prior, Foley was left unsatisfied with
Bobby Heenan's announcement of "That'll give
you Excedrine Headache No. 9." Foley recounts
this as the moment that set his intention to leave
WCW.At Bash at the Beach, Cactus Jack and Sullivan
lost the tag team titles to Pretty Wonderful (Paul
Orndorff and Paul Roma), and Sullivan then blamed
Cactus for the loss. Cactus Jack officially turned
heel when he attacked Kevin's kayfabe brother
Dave Sullivan, however, the Sullivan brothers
aroused so little sympathy from viewers that the
fans reacted as though Cactus were the face. Cactus
and Kevin Sullivan engaged in a summer-long feud,
which culminated in a Loser Leaves Town match
at Fall brawl, which Cactus lost, ending his WCW
career. After losing, Cactus decided to split
his wrestling between SMW, ECW, and Japan.
Championship Wrestling, Smoky Mountain Wrestling
and Japan (1994-1996)
leaving WCW, Foley decided to wrestle for promotions
that would fully enable the violent, brutal matches
that made him popular. He went to the newly formed
Extreme Championship Wrestling and began a feud
with a man as noted for "insanity" as
he was: Sabu. Jack then began working the ECW
tag team division on teams with Terry Funk, Mikey
Whipwreck, and Kevin Sullivan. He had two ECW
Tag Team Championship reigns with Whipwreck while
the tail end of 1994, Foley joined Smoky Mountain
Wrestling as Cactus Jack, causing Boo Bradley
to lose the TV Title. Cactus Jack then began a
crusade to rid Bradley of his valet Tammy Lynn
Sytch. He ignited a feud between Chris Candido
and Bradley when he accused Candido of having
sexual relations with Sytch. Cactus Jack left
SMW before the feud was resolved.
1995, Foley went to Japan and wrestled in IWA,
where he engaged in feuds with Terry Funk and
Shoji Nakamaki. Foley, however, soon returned
to ECW to feud with The Sandman. Terry Funk returned
to team up with Sandman, and during a particularly
violent spot, the pair hit Cactus with a Singapore
cane forty-six times. Cactus Jack then defeated
Terry Funk at Hostile City Showdown 1995. Later,
he fought Sandman for the ECW championship. During
the match, Cactus Jack knocked Sandman unconscious
and was declared the winner. Referee Bill Alfonso,
however, reversed his decision on the grounds
that the title cannot change hands by knockout.
to the IWA, Cactus Jack began a feud with Leatherface,
whom he had betrayed during a tag team match.
Foley also continued to wrestle in independent
circuits, winning championships on the Ozark Mountain
and Steel City circuits. On August 20, 1995, IWA
organized a "King of the Death Match"
tournament. Each level of the tournament featured
a new and deadly gimmick: Cactus Jack's first
round was a barbed-wire baseball bat, thumbtack
death match, in which he defeated Terry Gordy;
the second round was a barbed-wire board, bed
of nails match where Cactus Jack defeated Shoji
Nakamaki. The final, against Terry Funk, was a
barbed-wire rope, barbed-wire and C4 board, time-bomb
death match, which Cactus Jack won with help from
Tiger Jeet Singh. After the match, both men were
ravaged by the wire, and burned by the C4 explosions.
Foley later claimed that he only received $300
for the entire night. After the tournament, he
teamed with Tracy Smothers for a quick run with
the IWA tag team titles.
then returned to ECW to team with Tommy Dreamer.
Cactus began a gimmick where he criticized hardcore
wrestling and sought to renounce his status as
a hardcore wrestling icon. He said that he was
on a mission to save his partner from making the
mistake of trying to please bloodthirsty fans.
The mismatched partnership lasted until August
5, 1995, when Cactus turned on Dreamer when they
were teaming against The Pitbulls. Cactus Jack
DDT'ed his partner and joined Raven's Nest, as
he wished to serve Raven's "higher purpose."
He remained one of Raven's top henchmen for the
remainder of his time in ECW. On August 28, Cactus
beat the previously undefeated 911. As part of
Foley's heel gimmick, he began praising WWF and
WCW on ECW television. At first, ECW fans did
not really boo Cactus's "anti-hardcore"
heel character, but once they learned that he
was leaving the organization for the WWF, they
began hating him passionately. They did not even
react positively when, as his departure grew nearer,
Foley attempted to shift away from his character
and give sincere good-bye interviews. Cactus was
booked to face WWF hater Shane Douglas, who won
when he put Jack into a figure four leglock that
allowed Mikey Whipwreck to hit him repeatedly
with a steel chair. Foley's last ECW match was
against Whipwreck in April 1996. The ECW fans,
who knew that this was Foley's last match, finally
returned his affection. They cheered him throughout
the match and chanted, "Please don't go!"
After the match, Foley told the audience that
their reaction made everything worthwhile and
made his exit by dancing with Stevie Richards
and The Blue Meanie. Foley has said that this
exit was his favorite moment in wrestling.
arrived in the WWF in 1996 with a new gimmick:
Mankind, a tortured soul who lived in a boiler
room, spoke to a rat, pulled out his hair during
matches, and wore a Hannibal Lecter-inspired mask
in the ring. Mankind debuted the day after WrestleMania
XII, quickly moving into a feud with The Undertaker.
This feud continued through King of the Ring,
Mankind's WWF pay-per-view debut. During the match,
Undertaker's manager Paul Bearer "accidentally"
struck him with the urn, allowing Mankind to apply
the Mandible claw for the win. The two then began
interfering in each other's matches until they
were booked in a Boiler Room brawl, in which the
goal was to escape the arena's boiler room and
reach the ring to take the urn from Paul Bearer.
The Undertaker appeared to have won, but Paul
Bearer refused to hand him the urn, allowing Mankind
to win, thus (for the time being) ending the relationship
between Paul and the Undertaker.
then earned #1 contendership to the WWF World
Championship versus Shawn Michaels at In Your
House: Mind Games. Michaels won by disqualification
via interference by Vader and The Undertaker.
For several years, Foley considered this match
his best ever, saying "Sure, at 280 pounds
I still looked like hell, but after a brutal cardiovascular
training regimen, I was able to go full-tilt for
twenty-seven minutes with a smaller, quicker,
better athlete than me."
Mankind-Undertaker feud continued with the first
ever Buried Alive match at In Your House: Buried
Alive. Undertaker won the match, but Paul Bearer,
Terry Gordy (as the Executioner), Mankind and
other heels attacked 'Taker and buried him alive.
Afterward, he challenged Mankind to a match at
Survivor Series, which he won. The feud ended
after one more match at In Your House: Revenge
of the Taker for the WWF Championship, which Undertaker
had won at WrestleMania 13. Undertaker won the
match and Bearer took a leave of absence, ending
Ross then began conducting a series of interviews
with Mankind. During the interviews, Ross brought
up the topic of Foley's home videos and the character
he played in them, Dude Love. Around this time,
Stone Cold Steve Austin and Shawn Michaels won
the WWF Tag Team Championships from Owen Hart
and The British Bulldog, but Michaels was injured
and could no longer compete. Mankind tried to
replace him, but Austin said he wanted "nothing
to do with a freak" and resigned himself
to facing Hart and the Bulldog alone the next
week. Halfway into the match, however, Dude Love
suddenly appeared and helped Austin take the victory,
becoming the new Tag Team Champions. Austin and
Dude vacated their tag team titles when Austin
suffered a serious neck injury at the hands of
Owen Hart at SummerSlam. Dude Love feuded with
Hunter Hearst Helmsley, as the two competed in
a Falls Count Anywhere match. One of Foley's most
memorable vignettes aired before the match began,
in which Dude Love and Mankind discussed who should
wrestle the upcoming match. Eventually, "they"
decided that it should be Cactus Jack, and Foley's
old character made his WWF debut. Jack won the
match with a piledriver through a table. Shortly
thereafter, Terry Funk joined the Federation as
"Chainsaw Charlie", and he and Jack
defeated the New Age Outlaws at WrestleMania XIV
in a Dumpster match to win the tag team titles.
The next night, however, Vince McMahon stripped
them of the belts and scheduled a rematch in a
steel cage, which the Outlaws won with help from
their new allies, D-Generation X.
April 6, 1998, Foley turned heel when Cactus Jack
explained the fans would not see him anymore because
they didn't appreciate him and only cared about
Stone Cold Steve Austin. Vince McMahon explained
to Austin the next week that he would face a "mystery"
opponent at Unforgiven. That opponent turned out
to be Dude Love, who won the match by DQ, meaning
that Austin retained the title. Vince, displeased
with the outcome, required Foley to prove he deserved
another shot at Austin's title with a #1 Contendership
match against his former partner, Terry Funk.
The match was both the WWF's first ever "Hardcore
match" and the first time that Foley wrestled
under his own name. Foley won, and after the match,
a proud Mr. McMahon came out to Dude Love's music
and presented Foley with the Dude Love costume.
At Over the Edge, Dude Love took on Austin for
the title. McMahon designated his subordinates
as the timekeeper and ring announcer and made
himself the special referee. Despite McMahon's
support, Dude Love lost and was "fired"
by McMahon the next night.
in a Cell
Main article: Hell in a Cell
then reverted to his Mankind character, who began
wearing an untucked shirt with a loose necktie
(a jab at Mr. McMahon for having Dude Love dress
more professionally in order to fit into his idea
of a "corporate champion") and feuding
with The Undertaker. At King of the Ring, the
two competed in the third-ever Hell in a Cell
match. Foley received numerous injuries and took
two extremely dangerous and highly influential
bumps. The first one came as both wrestlers were
brawling on top of the cell, and Undertaker threw
Mankind from a height of sixteen feet and sent
him crashing through the Spanish announcers' table.
This event also triggered Jim Ross famously shouting
"Good God almighty! Good God almighty! They've
killed him! As God as my witness, he is broken
in half!" This fall was planned. According
to Foley in Mick Foley's Greatest Hits and Misses,
the second was accidental. With both men back
on the top of the cell, Undertaker chokeslammed
Mankind, and a section of the cage gave way. Foley
fell through and hit the ring hard. A chair that
had been atop the cage also slammed Foley's head
and knocked out a tooth as he hit the canvas.
He was also knocked unconscious for a few moments
from the impact, but he finished the match after
waking up. Although Mankind lost, both wrestlers
received a standing ovation for the match, and
the event is often said to have jump-started Foley's
main event career.
future matches attempted to replicate some of
the spots from this match. In his autobiography
Have a Nice Day! A Tale of Blood and Sweatsocks,
Foley wrote that he couldn't remember much of
what happened, and he had to watch a tape of the
match to write about it. The match was voted Pro
Wrestling Illustrated's Match of the Year for
1998. Although many fans regard the match as a
classic, it has generated controversy as well.
Critics charge that the falls in the match were
so extreme and they set the bar for further bumps
so high that the inevitable attempts to equal
or surpass them would be unsafe for the wrestlers
involved. Additionally, in his autobiography,
Terry Funk states that both falls, including the
second one through the cage, were planned. Some
sources, including Power Slam magazine and Pro
Wrestling Torch, reported that Foley denied planning
this bump to placate his wife, who was furious
with him after the match. Foley said in his first
book that his wife cried during a post match phone
conversation between the two, and this made Foley
strongly consider retiring from wrestling. He
also said that after the match, Vince McMahon
thanked him for all he had done for the company,
but made Foley promise to "never do anything
like that again."
Championship and retirement (1998-2000)
conventional wisdom holds that the Hell in a Cell
match was responsible for Foley's rise to main
event status, live television crowds did not initially
get behind Mankind because of the match. Foley
decided that crowds might respond better if Mankind
were more of a comedy character, and so he became
less of a tortured soul and more of a goofy, broken
down oaf. While Vince McMahon was in a hospital
nursing wounds suffered at the hands of The Undertaker
and Kane, Mankind arrived to cheer him up. Having
succeeded only in irritating McMahon, Mankind
unveiled a sock puppet named Mr. Socko. Intended
to be a one-time joke, Socko became an overnight
sensation. Mankind began putting the sock on his
hand before applying his finisher, the Mandible
manipulated Mankind, who saw the WWF owner as
a father figure, into doing his bidding. McMahon
created the Hardcore Championship and awarded
it to Mankind, making him the first-ever champion
of the hardcore division. Mankind was then pushed
as the favorite to win the WWF Championship at
Survivor Series, as McMahon appeared to be manipulating
the tournament so that Mankind would win. He and
The Rock both reached the finals, where McMahon
turned on Mankind. As The Rock placed Mankind
in the Sharpshooter, McMahon ordered the timekeeper
to ring the bell even though Mankind did not submit,
a reference to the Montreal Screwjob from the
year before. After McMahon's betrayal, Mankind
became the #1 babyface in the company.
weeks of trying to get his hands on Mr. McMahon's
new faction, the Corporation, Mankind received
a title shot with The Rock at In Your House. Mankind
knocked The Rock out with the Mandible Claw, but
McMahon ruled that the title would not change
hands because The Rock never gave up. After several
weeks of going after the Corporation, Mankind
had his big night on December 29, where Mankind
defeated The Rock and won his first WWF championship.
The taped show was broadcast on January 4, 1999,
so that is the date WWE recognizes as beginning
the title run. Having title changes on broadcast
television rather than pay-per-view was uncommon
in professional wrestling, but because of the
Monday Night Wars, TV ratings became more important.
The rival WCW, attempting to take advantage of
the fact that their show Monday Nitro aired live
while Mankind's title victory was taped the week
before, had announcer Tony Schiavone reveal the
ending of the Mankind-Rock match before it aired.
He then added sarcastically, "That'll put
a lot of butts in the seats." The move backfired
for WCW, as Nielsen Ratings suggested that over
half a million viewers switched from Nitro to
Raw almost immediately despite the Hogan vs. Nash
main event which led to the reformation of the
nWo. Foley took great personal pride from this,
and "Mick Foley put my ass in this seat"
signs began showing up at WWF events.
first lost the WWF title to The Rock in a "I
Quit" match at Royal Rumble. During the match,
Foley took several bumps, including eleven unprotected
chairshots. This match is featured on Barry Blaustein's
documentary Beyond the Mat, which shows the impact
the match had on Foley and his family at ringside.
The match ended after Mankind lost consciousness
and The Rock's allies played a recording of Mankind
saying "I Quit" from an earlier interview.
The match led to some legitimate tension between
Foley and The Rock for a time, because in the
planning for the match, far fewer chairshots were
to have been used. The match was also voted 1999's
Match of the Year by the readers of Pro Wrestling
Illustrated. Mankind won the title back at a rematch
on Halftime Heat, which aired during halftime
at Super Bowl XXXIII, in the WWF's first ever
Empty Arena match. The two then competed in a
Last Man Standing match at St. Valentines Day
Massacre, which ended without a winner, meaning
that Mankind retained the title. The next night,
Mr. McMahon booked a ladder match for the championship,
which The Rock won with help from The Big Show.
Later in the year, Foley and The Rock patched
up their friendship and teamed up to form a comedy
team called the Rock 'n' Sock Connection, becoming
one of the most popular teams during that time.
The pair won the tag team titles on three occasions.
Mick Foley helped WWF Raw achieve its highest
ratings ever with a segment featuring himself
(as Mankind) and The Rock. The "This is Your
Life" segment aired on September 27, 1999
and received an 8.4 rating.
returned from knee surgery as Mankind to win the
WWF Championship for the third time at SummerSlam
in a triple threat match against Steve Austin
and Triple H. It is believed that Mankind was
booked to win the championship that night because
Austin refused to lose it to Triple H. Triple
H defeated Mankind and won the title the next
night on Raw. A major feud developed between Mankind
and the McMahon-Helmsley regime, led by Triple
H, which led to Mankind's reverting to his Cactus
Jack persona and facing Triple H for the WWF Championship
at Royal Rumble in a street fight. Cactus used
barbed wire and thumbtacks, trademark weapons
from his pre-WWF days, but Triple H won the match
after delivering two pedigrees, the second onto
a pile of tacks. This feud culminated with a rematch
at No Way Out in a Hell in a Cell match, where
stipulations held that if Cactus Jack did not
win the title, Mick Foley would retire from wrestling.
Triple H won, ostensibly ending Foley's career.
Foley left for a few weeks but returned at the
request of Linda McMahon to wrestle for the title
at WrestleMania 2000 against Triple H, The Rock,
and The Big Show. Triple H won, and Foley did
not wrestle again for four years.
retiring from active competition, Foley served
as storyline WWF Commissioner. Foley has said
that he intended for his Commissioner Foley character
to be a "role model for nerds," cracking
lame jokes and making no attempt to appear tough
or scary. Foley turned getting cheap pops into
something of a catchphrase, as he shamelessly
declared at each WWF show that he was thrilled
to be "right here in (whatever city he was
performing in)!" punctuated with a thumbs-up
gesture. During this time, Commissioner Foley
engaged in rivalries with Kurt Angle, Edge and
Christian, and Vince McMahon without actually
wrestling them. He left the position in December
2000 after being "fired" on screen by
made a surprise return to the Monday Night Raw
just prior to WrestleMania X-Seven and announced
that he would be the special guest referee in
the match between Mr. McMahon and his son Shane
at WrestleMania. After WrestleMania, Foley made
sporadic WWF TV appearances throughout the spring
and summer, at one point introducing Minnesota
Gov. Jesse Ventura during a taping of Raw in the
state as a foil to Mr. McMahon, as well as serving
as the guest referee for the Earl Hebner vs. Nick
Patrick Referee match at the InVasion pay-per-view.
returned as commissioner in October 2001, near
the end of The Invasion angle. During this brief
tenure, Foley had the opportunity to shoot on
the WWF's direction and how dissatisfied he was
with it. Saying that there were far too many championships
in the company, he booked unification matches
prior to the final pay-per-view of the storyline,
Survivor Series. After Survivor Series, he ended
his commissionership at Vince McMahon's request
and left the company. Foley and McMahon had a
real-life falling out with each other at the time,
and Foley was absent from WWE for almost two years.
Wrestling Entertainment (2003-present)
returned in June 2003 to referee the Hell in a
Cell match between Triple H and Kevin Nash at
Bad Blood. On June 23, during a Raw broadcast
in Madison Square Garden, he was honored for his
achievements in the ring and presented with the
retired WWE Hardcore Championship belt. The evening
ended with Foley taking a beating and kicked down
stairs by Randy Orton and Ric Flair. In December
2003, Foley returned to replace Steve Austin as
co-general manager of Raw. He soon grew tired
of the day-to-day travel and left his full-time
duties to write and spend time with his family.
In the storyline, Foley was afraid to wrestle
a match with Intercontinental Champion Randy Orton
and walked out of the arena rather than face him.
2004, Foley returned briefly to wrestling, competing
in the Royal Rumble and eliminating both Randy
Orton and himself with a clothesline. He and The
Rock reunited as the Rock 'n' Sock Connection
and lost a handicap match to Evolution at WrestleMania
XX when Randy Orton pinned Foley with an RKO as
Mick pulled out Mr. Socko. The two continued to
feud, culminating in a hardcore match for the
WWE Intercontinental Championship at Backlash,
where Orton defeated Cactus Jack to retain the
title with an RKO onto a barbed wire wrapped baseball
bat, which Foley now regards as possibly the best
match of his career.
appeared as a color commentator at WWE's ECW One
Night Stand, which aired on June 12, 2005, and
subsequently renewed his contract with WWE. In
an interview with "Between The Ropes"
on August 31, Foley acknowledged that prior to
signing with WWE he had been negotiating a deal
with Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (TNA). Foley
returned in 2005 in a match where fans were able
to vote on which persona he would appear as—Mankind,
Dude Love, or Cactus Jack—against Carlito
at Taboo Tuesday. Foley cut promos for each character
and an online vote was held. The fans voted for
Mankind, who went on to win the match with the
the February 16, 2006 Raw, Foley returned to referee
the WWE Championship match between Edge and John
Cena. After Cena won, Edge attacked Foley, and
the following week, Edge challenged Foley to a
match at WrestleMania 22. Edge defeated Foley
after Spearing him through a flaming table. In
the weeks after the match, Foley turned heel and
allied himself with Edge against the newly rejuvenated
ECW. This would be the first WWE heel turn of
Foley since his feud with Stone Cold Steve Austin
as Dude Love back in 1998. At ECW One Night Stand,
Foley, Edge and Lita defeated Terry Funk, Tommy
Dreamer and Beulah McGillicutty after Edge speared
Beulah for the win.
then engaged in a storyline rivalry with Ric Flair,
inspired by real-life animosity between the two.
In Have a Nice Day!, Foley wrote that Flair was
"every bit as bad on the booking side of
things as he was great on the wrestling side of
it." In response, Flair wrote in his autobiography
that Foley was "a glorified stuntman"
and that he was able to climb the ladder in the
WWF only because he was friends with the bookers.
The two had a backstage confrontation at a Raw
event in 2003, but Foley has said that they have
largely reconciled. To spark the feud, Flair again
called Foley a "glorified stuntman"
and Foley called Flair a "washed up piece
of crap" and challenged him to a match. The
result was a Two out of Three Falls match at Vengeance,
where Flair beat Foley in two straight falls;
with a rollup counter to the figure four in the
first and by DQ in the second after a trashcan
shot. After the match, Flair was split wide open
by Foley with a barbed wire bat. The two then
wrestled an "I Quit" match at SummerSlam,
which Flair won when he forced Foley to quit by
threatening Melina with a barbed wire bat. On
the August 21 edition of Raw, Mick Foley literally
kissed Vince McMahon's buttocks as part of McMahon's
"kiss my ass club" gimmick after he
threatened to fire Melina. Shortly thereafter,
she betrayed Foley and announced that he was fired.
months later, Foley made his return to Raw on
March 5, 2007, tricking Mr. McMahon into giving
him his job back. On April 9, Foley contributed
to the Make-A-Wish Foundation and helped a young
child named Michael Peña to become honorary
GM of the night.
appeared again on June 11 for Mr. McMahon Appreciation
Night insulting Mr. McMahon. Foley also announced
his place as a number 1 contender for the WWE
Championship. During the Raw broadcast before
Vengeance, Foley was scheduled to make his official
in-ring return in a match against Umaga but he
attacked Umaga before the match, and the match
was never started. At Vengeance, Foley wrestled
in a WWE Championship Challenge match involving
WWE Champion John Cena, Randy Orton, King Booker,
and Bobby Lashley. Cena retained by pinning Foley.
month later, Foley made an appearance on Raw as
the special guest referee for a match between
Jonathan Coachman and Mr McMahon's kayfabe illegitimate
son Hornswoggle. Hornswoggle won the match, after
Foley handed him a miniature Mr. Socko. Foley
then made an appearance on SmackDown the same
week, where he defeated Coachman with Hornswoggle
as the special guest referee. On the January 7,
2008 episode of Raw, Foley and his tag team partner
Hornswoggle qualified for the Royal Rumble by
defeating The Highlanders, but Foley was eliminated
by Triple H during the Rumble.
of WWE during his time of sporadic appearances,
Foley partially retired from in-ring competition,
making more guest appearances and cutting promos
rather than actually wrestling. Foley, however,
still occasionally competed and made several notable
appearances in independent promotions, including
Ring of Honor, where he feuded with the likes
of Ricky Steamboat, Samoa Joe, CM Punk, and The
Embassy. During this time, Foley appeared at several
supershows like International Showdown, Hardcore
Homecoming, WrestleReunion, Ballpark brawl and
the A Night of Appreciation for Sabu. As well
as working a HUSTLE show against Toshiaki Kawada.
his career, and under all of his aliases, Foley
has proved extremely popular to his fans, even
when he wrestled as a heel. Foley has always been
accessible to his fans and will spend long periods
of time with them signing autographs and posing
for pictures. His hard work is often credited
with helping to re-establish pro wrestling's popularity
after the steroid and sex scandals of the late
1980s and early 1990s. Foley was leading the online
poll for Time Magazine's Man of the Year honor
in 1998 before being removed as a candidate. Foley
is also seen as a pioneer of hardcore wrestling.
The hardcore match became a staple of WWF programming
in the late 1990s after Foley had several memorable
hardcore-style matches, and it can be seen that
Foley set the bar for hardcore-styled wrestling
May 7 to July 1, 1999, Foley wrote his autobiography--without
the aid of a ghostwriter, as he proudly notes
in the introduction--in almost 800 pages of longhand.
The book, Have a Nice Day: A Tale of Blood and
Sweatsocks, became hugely popular and topped the
New York Times bestseller list for several weeks.
The follow-up, Foley is Good: And The Real World
is Faker Than Wrestling, was published in 2001
and debuted at #1 on the Times list. Foley has
also written three children's books, Mick Foley's
Halloween Hijinx, Mick Foley's Christmas Chaos,
and Tales from Wrescal Lane. He has also authored
Tietam Brown, a coming-of-age story which was
nominated for the WHSmith People's Choice Award
in 2004. Foley's second novel, Scooter, was published
in August 2005. His writing has generally received
favorable reviews. Foley's most recent book is
the third part of his autobiography called The
Hardcore Diaries. It highlights his 2004 feud
with Randy Orton, his match and later partnership
with Edge, and program with Ric Flair in 2006.
The Hardcore Diaries also spent time on the New
York Times bestseller list.
authored a weblog titled Foley is Blog on WWE's
website. The entries focused on Foley's stories
and travels in pro wrestling. The blog, however,
was later removed from the site.
* (1999) Have a Nice Day: A Tale of Blood and
Sweatsocks. ReganBooks. ISBN 0-06-039299-1. (credited
as Mankind/Mick Foley)
* (2001) Foley is Good: And The Real World is
Faker Than Wrestling. ReganBooks. ISBN 0-06-103241-7.
* (2007) The Hardcore Diaries. PocketBooks. ISBN
* (2000) Mick Foley's Christmas Chaos. ReganBooks.
* (2001) Mick Foley's Halloween Hijinx. HarperCollins
Publishers. ISBN 0-06-000251-4.
* (2004) Tales From Wrescal Lane. World Wrestling
Entertainment. ISBN 0-7434-6634-9.
* (2003) Tietam Brown. Knopf. ISBN 0-375-41550-5.
* (2005) Scooter. Knopf. ISBN 1-4000-4414-6.
television and radio
of Foley's earliest acting roles was in 1996.
Shortly before he left for Stamford, Foley appeared
in Atlanta filmmakers Barry Norman and Michael
Williams' short subject Deadbeats as "Bird",
an armed robber turned debt collector. One of
Foley's first TV guest appearances was as a wrestler
on USA Network's short-lived action-comedy G vs.
E. He also featured prominently in the documentary
Beyond the Mat. He also appeared in the Insane
Clown Posse vehicle Big Money Hustlas as Cactus
Sac, which was basically the same character as
his Cactus Jack persona. In the late 1990s, Foley
hosted a series of Robot Wars dubbed "Extreme
Warriors". He also provided a guest voice
for two episodes of the Nickelodeon animated series
Avatar: The Last Airbender, in which he portrayed
a satirical earthbending wrestler named The Boulder,
and provided the voice for Gorrath in the pilot
episode of Megas XLR. Foley appeared in an episode
of Boy Meets World as Mankind, giving advice to
Eric Matthews before giving Eric the mandible
claw and a helicopter spin. Mick Foley was also
a voice in an episode of Celebrity Deathmatch
where he was an animated version of Mankind doing
a stunt from the ceiling, and later in the same
episode he fought and defeated Ernest Hemingway.
Foley will have a small role in the upcoming thriller
movie Anamorph starring Willem Dafoe.
has frequently appeared on Air America Radio's
Morning Sedition, including several stints as
a guest host and has appeared on The Rachel Maddow
Show. He also hosted WWE's radio show, which was
held in WWF New York. Foley also occasionally
appears on the Opie and Anthony Show.
the summer of 2007, Mick Foley was filmed for
the upcoming film Bloodstained Memoirs, a wrestling
Foley has participated in numerous Make-A-Wish
Foundation events, made surprise visits to children
in hospitals and worked with the Christian Children's
Fund. Foley has also visited schools and libraries,
talking to students about the value of education
and the importance of reading and traveled to
various military bases and military hospitals
to visit U.S. troops.
the summer of 2004, Mick Foley spoke at the College
Democrats of America Convention in Boston. He
also opposed conservative John Bradshaw Layfield
in a special debate on Raw prior to the 2004 presidential
Foley is married to Collette Foley, née
Christie. The couple have three sons and a daughter:
Dewey Francis (born on February 20, 1992), Michael
Francis, Jr. (born in January 2001), Huey (born
in 2003), and Noelle Margaret (born on December
15, 1993). Foley and his family will be starring
in a reality television show for A&E Network.
The show is still being produced and no air time
has been announced.
Foley led the Saudi Arabian team out of the tunnel
at the 2007 Special Olympic World Games in Shanghai,
Mick Foley profile
Foley - Australian Sports Entertainment profile